By: Krystle Crossman
This is going to be a two part article because the information is very important. Please read carefully.
Children suffer s*xual abuse every day. Many may not say anything so no one really knows what is going on. There are however signs that they are being abused. Child abuse is defined as someone touching a child’s gen!tals for s*xual pleasure or making the child touch someone else’s gen!tals for pleasure, playing s*xual games, or having s*x with a child. Abuse can also be non-physical such as showing children p*rn0graphic images or films or photographing them in compromising positions.
There are many ways that a child may be trying to tell us that there is something wrong as opposed to coming right out and saying it. They will try to act a certain way or change their behavior to show you that something is not right. The following are some signs that you may notice:
– Changes in eating habits
– Running away
– Fear of a certain person or not wanting to be alone with a certain person
– Nightmares or sleep issues
– Outbursts of anger
– Physical signs such as bruises
– Acting out inappropriate s*xual games with toys
– Either becoming overly clingy or very withdrawn
– Mood swings and extreme personality changes
– In older children, self-mutilation
– Unexplained gifts or money
– Talk of an “older friend”
– Regressing to younger behaviors such as bed-wetting
These are just some of the ways that a child may be trying to show you that they are being abused by someone. Often times it is someone that they know or sadly are very close to. Some of these signs however do not automatically mean that they are being abused. They may also exhibit these behaviors while in stressful situations such as their parents divorcing, when they have problems at school or with their friends, the death of someone close to them or a pet, or any other traumatic event.
There are signs that can be seen in the abuser as well that may indicate that they are abusing the child such as:
– Offering to babysit or take the child for an overnight stay often
– Favoring a specific child
– Picking on a child
– Insist on physical attention such as hugs, kisses, or wrestling, even if the child does not want physical contact
– Refusing to let a child have privacy or let them make their own decisions
– Insistent on time alone with the child
– Buying the child gifts or giving them money for no reason
– Spending most of their time with the child and not people their own age
– Overly interested in how the child/teen is developing s*xually
Again, these are just some of the warning signs and may not always mean that they are abusing the child, but it does not hurt to investigate or ask for help if you notice anything out of the ordinary.